- Published on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 06:42
- Written by The NEWS
The People Of Butaw District, Sinoe County, have been in the news for weeks protesting what they considered the illegal takeover of their ancestral land by a palm oil producing company, Golden Veroleum. Community dwellers have complained that 33,000 hectare of oil palm operation is being developed on their lands without regards to rule and procedures.
Cllr. Alfred Brownell, legal representative for the Butaw citizens maintained that Golden Veroleum is in clear violation of the new planting procedure as it has not advertised its plans to clear and plant oil palm. Cllr. Brownell also indicated that a high conservation value assessment in advance of Golden Veroleum’s expanding operations was never made public.
If The Information we are getting is true, then it is sad and absolutely unacceptable for a foreign company that is expected to follow the right procedure chose to ignore the regulations that would guarantee their legitimacy in an area.
It Is Our understanding that water bodies within the vicinity of the company’s operation are being polluted and virgin forests are in dander as a result of Golden Veroleum’s deforestation activities. The information we are getting is cogent and incontestable; therefore, we expect the logging company to submit to the laws of Liberia and other international protocols governing the use of the forest.
It is our hope that the forest rights of tribal people especially those of Butaw District will be respected. Additionally, the issue of the destruction of ancestral land raised by community dwellers must be halted and the company sees reason to amicably negotiate with the tribal people.
We Urge The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body set up to develop and implement global standards for producing palm oil, to ensure that Golden Veroleum follow the proper procedure to avoid confrontation with the locals.
Golden Veroleum Should be made to cease the unauthorized clearing of the people’s farmland if they haven’t gone through due process or followed the requisite procedure.